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Sunday, March 18, 2007

FREAKONOMICS

Finally… I completed “Freakonomics” over the weekend. Interesting book, but I would have appreciated it more had I read it before my MBA application process. Most of the things covered in the book reflect simple and powerful concepts of incentives, cause-effect relationship and the concept of conventional wisdom. What give a distinct touch to the book are the unique comparisons, which are used to explain the concepts.

Steven Levitt so aptly brings out the three forms of incentives – economic, social as well as moral. Sometimes these incentives are used to get a desirable positive result and at other times used to deter crimes and negative effects. At other times the existence of natural incentives can tempt people to follow a particular path (can be positive or negative).

The power of possessing the information is amazingly described. “Information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent depending on who wields it and how. Information is so powerful that the assumption of information, even if the information doesn’t actually exist, can have a sobering effect”. What follow after this, is an explicit picture of “information asymmetry” and the role of internet in information dissemination.

The cause-effect issue is well presented. We often mistake the real cause of an effect with something else, something which is quite striking and visible. It may not be always so. The real cause can be much more subtle in nature and much less obvious and decipherable.

The issue of applicability of the conventional wisdom in the dynamic world is neatly challenged through numerous examples.

Quite an interesting reading….exploring the hidden side of everything.

3 comments:

Jayan R Nair said...

One of my colleague asked me about the book. Since I have not read it could not offer any comments. He was telling me that the book is worth reading. I might give it a try before comming over.

Currently perusing through The High-Performance Enterpreneur by Subroto Bagchi

Cheers
Jayan

Meanwhile..Just wanted to know where Nikhil Kamma is placed. For last few months I am unable to access his blog.

Anonymous said...

Hai Sabya,
There has been some rumors going around about the recoginition for ISB. The ISB offical view point seems to be that they are going for some American accreditation. But as far as I know till now it has not been granted. It seems even AICTE and UGC seems be sending notice to ISB regading this.

What is your take on it?

Cheers
Jayan

SABYASACHI said...

I am not aware of notices to ISB from UGC....shouldnot be any problem, even though there are any.

The US accreditation (AACSB) is very stringent and takes some time...the process has started long back and hopefully we will have the accreditation soon.